Author

Jessica Vestuto

Browsing

The afternoon light was a relief as I stepped out of Javits Lecture Hall. It was an escape from the stuffy, windowless room in which I had spent the last hour. I have experienced this sensation before, the thrill of being sprung from a state of numbing boredom—the Department of Motor Vehicles, Cablevision, the Verizon Store—back into the rhythm of the outside world. This time, the feeling had come from leaving Stony Brook University’s Q-Course, the mandatory ten-week class for first-time violators of academic integrity. But along with my feeling of relief, I could not help but wonder what was worse: that I had enthusiastically elected to attend the Q-Course, or that I still needed to find something beneficial to say about it. Like most students, I had heard about the Q-Course from the brief cautionary paragraph located under the phrase “Academic Integrity” on my class syllabi. I was curious…

I was excited to see Boston in the fall — only Boston this fall felt like winter anywhere else: the high 46 degrees, the sky grey and sunless, the people moving quicker than usual to escape the inhospitable outdoors. The construction outside of the Boston Public Library seemed to persist in slow motion against the fast cars and hurrying people in the foreground. An orange banner hung on the corner of the library, rippling in the wind: “Boston Book Festival. Saturday, October 24th. 200 authors. Free admission.” Every fall, Boston turns Copley Square into a haven for readers and writers. Booths of publishers, literary magazines, bookstores and other vendors line the sidewalks. Book characters come to life with the help of elaborate costumes and willing human participants. Various venues all over the city host free literary events. This year’s events ranged from a keynote for children by Louis Sachar, author…

When Science and Music Met As I sat in the violin section of Smithtown High School East’s Freshman Orchestra, Eya Setsu, the first violin, made me question whether we were really playing the same instrument. It was our first time practicing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards in Winter,” an ambitious choice for novice musicians, and while my bow squeaked and whined, Setsu’s bow flew melodiously across the strings. My fourteen-year-old self sat in awe. Today, as I sit across from Setsu in the Stony Brook Staller Center, she remains as humble as she is accomplished. Setsu is in her second year as a double major in Biology and music, two of Stony Brook’s most challenging programs. “I have a minor in Biomedical Engineering as well,” she adds to the list as an afterthought, along with her position as secretary of the University Scholars program and a member of the fencing club.…